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PhRMA: California-based drug makers focusing on heart disease, cancer treatments


WASHINGTON — California-based companies are developing nearly more than one-fifth of the drugs to treat some of the deadliest diseases in the world, according to an analysis by the drug industry lobby.

According to two Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America reports released this year, of the 1,186 drugs under development for heart disease and cancer, 243 were from California companies. These include 188-of-the-887 drugs for more than 20 types of cancer, and 55-of-the-299 drugs for heart disease and stroke.

“California’s companies are on the front line in both the ongoing war on cancer and the intense fight against heart disease,” PhRMA spokesman Jeff Trewhitt said. “The drugs they are testing could prove to be important to patients all over the world, including [patients in] both the United States and California, where heart disease and cancer are also the two leading causes of death.”

According to PhRMA, more than 73,000 California residents died of heart disease in 2004, and heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer accounted for 54% of deaths among the state’s growing Latino population.

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